Bulldogs Slip Past UMES, 3-2, In Buffalo Invitational Opener
Buffalo, N.Y. - Butler knocked down a season-high 14 total blocks, including a career-high 10 by Jalesa Lee, as the Bulldogs rallied for a 22-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 15-10 victory over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Friday (Sept. 12) afternoon at the Buffalo Ramada Invitational.
"This was a very good win for us against a quality opponent," head coach Sharon Clark said. "Our blocking really came through for us."
Butler found itself trailing following a close opening set. Despite matching the Hawks kill-for-kill - as both squads tallied 15 kills while hitting .244 in the set - the Bulldogs came out on the short-end of a 25-22 decision thanks to a late 5-2 UMES surge that broke a 20-20 deadlock.
A strong offensive showing in the second set brought the Bulldogs back to even at 1-1. Butler hit a match-high .469 (16-1-32) and overcame an 18-14 deficit with an 11-2 run, capped by back-to-back block assists by Lee and Kelsey Labrum.
Butler had to play catch-up once again following the break, as UMES spotted itself a 20-14 edge late before the Bulldogs rode a 7-1 run to bring the scoring even at 21-21. The rally would fall short, however, as the Hawks squeaked out 25-23 victory and put Butler on the brink of a loss for just the second time this year.
The Bulldogs responded to the challenge, however, ratcheting up the offense once more to the tune of a .360 hitting percentage (12-3-25) to run away with a 25-17 win. Butler took the lead at 7-6 and never looked back, as Allen, Lee and Maureen Bamiro combined for six block assists.
Playing in its first fifth set of the season, Butler jumped out to a 4-1 advantage and never trailed in the game despite two strong rally attempts by UMES. The Hawks brought the game to within one at 11-10, but they would get no closer, as Wolfe knocked down a pair of kills and Dana Daprile and Lee tallied a match-deciding block to give Butler the grueling victory.
Wolfe led the squad with 19 kills and added 18 digs, while Allen finished with 18 kills and 11 digs. Labrum finished just one dig shy of a double-double with 12 kills and nine digs. Lee, meanwhile, chipped in seven kills while hitting a team-best .500 (7-1-12).
"What doesn't show up on the stat sheet though is how phenomenal Dana was for us in her leadership and in making some great set selections. Katie also came through for us and did an excellent job directing the court."
Butler returns to action this evening when it takes on Maine beginning at 5:00 p.m.